Iranian conflict part four: World War three

Ellen Miller Garrett, Newtonian Online Manager

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There are memes, current events and history to look to, but if a war with Iran does happen, would it really turn into a ‘World War three’? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a war can be considered a ‘world war’ when it involves “many large nations in all different parts of the world”. The name is currently given to the wars spanning 1914-1918, and 1939-1945. 

As teenagers are faced with the uncertainty of the future some, like senior Ashley Salgado, have developed a sense of humor about the conflict. 

“I’m going back to Mexico. I wasn’t born there but I’m going back,” Salgado said.

Other high schoolers who may be more politically active have been able to research further into the topic for themselves. According to Vox, if a war does progress, it is likely that over one million Iranian civilians will be killed. 

“This is a continuation of the endless wars that have hurt the middle east since the 1980s over stuff like oil. I feel like this war doesn’t even have a purpose and will kill a lot of people in the middle east who are innocent,” junior Abi Boese said.

However, it is not guaranteed that a war with Iran will get this far. It may stay between the US and Iran, or there may not even be another attack at all.

“I think it could happen, but not as serious as people believe. I don’t think that people are gonna get drafted. I think it will last a few years,” sophomore Cynthia Torres.

These are all in line with major expert opinions. According to international politics professor Daniel Drezner, the best-case scenario is that Trump’s attack and Iran’s weakness will not lead to an attack serious enough to make Trump feel the need to retaliate. However, the worst-case scenario is a lot of miscommunication and miscalculation. According to BBC, any conflict between the US and Iran will end up being asymmetric, because the two sides have very different goals and metrics for success. 

In the end, it is very uncertain what, if any, conflict will come from the original action from the US. However, it is rather unlikely that it will escalate enough to become a true World War three.